Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

PRRWO: Anarcho-Socialism U.S.A. Expose PRRWO’S Hustlerism!



Comrades, study the lessons of our Australian comrades. Comrade E. F. Hill, in “Problems of Building the ML Party,” said:

Step by step, the Communist Party (ML) in Australia understood that it was not merely the cruder political aspects of revisionism that had to be combated, but that the struggle to build the Party was far deeper than this. The betrayal of Communism was no mere partial betrayal expressed in a few political aberrations such as the peaceful transition to socialism, but it was a betrayal that went to the root of Marxism-Leninism. It embraced everything. It repudiated, while pretending to adhere to, the world outlook of Communism, materialist dialectics, the very basis of Communism. Moreover, it revealed the weakness in ideology in the history of the Communist Party in Australia. (E.F. Hill. Australia’s Revolution)

Why do our Australian comrades ask us not to be fooled by the “cruder political aspects of revisionism” in trying to build the party on the ideological plane? And why do the comrades say that “betrayal of communism by the revisionists was no mere partial betrayal expressed in a few political aberrations such as the peaceful transition to socialism but it was a betrayal that went to the root of Marxism-Leninism”? Why do the Australian comrades teach us to go beyond the appearance of the ML movement itself, of ourselves also? But PRRWO only wants us to look at the Soviet social-imperialists – the “C”PSU – at their glaringly bankrupt goulash communism! Isn’t this exactly what we said about the RCP and OL, who also just point their finger at the “C”PSU and the “C”PUSA, who are revisionist to the bone and whose revisionism has long ago fully surfaced. And then they proclaim, “They are revisionist, and since we are against them, therefore we must be anti-revisionists.” They give themselves the mandate of being genuine Marxist-Leninists, with boasts like “We will not turn revisionist.” etc. Yes, it’s exactly the same stuff.

So clearly, the main question we are addressing is not revisionism that is “already flying a separate flag,” by literally revising Marxism and taking a position against the leading line of the CPC and PLA. The question we are dealing with here is the form and content that bourgeois ideology can assume in the Communist movement, whether we are conscious of it or not.

The strategic question that needs to be answered is a far more difficult one, and that is, the question of the character of the party. How do we build an anti-revisionist party? How do we vaccinate ourselves against new germs and new diseases? (WV, Vol.2, no. l, p. 26) The question is how to identify the process of turning revisionist and thereby understand the task of combating it in the context of class struggle. That’s exactly the point the Australian comrades raised: “not merely the cruder aspects of revisionism” (emphasis added), not a few blatant “political aberrations such as the peaceful transition to socialism,” but the profound ideological roots. This is precisely the point that PRRWO doesn’t understand or else is distorting. To opportunists, revisionism is

conscious bourgeois ideology in the communist and workers movement. The role of the state, .. .the theory of peaceful transition, peaceful coexistence, the productive forces theory, the theory of the inevitable peaceful collapse of capitalism. (Palante, March-April 1976, p. 8.)

We will get to the question of conscious and unconscious revisionism and bourgeois ideology in the communist movement. But first let us point out exactly what the PRRWO comrades are doing by raising only that which has fully degenerated to divert the communist movement away from the question of degeneration] of combating and preventing revisionism and political deviations that are still developing. This by-passes the whole question of the process of turning revisionist within the communist movement, which is such a crucial question that has not been answered (as (he Australian comrades pointed out) since all the party building attempts here so far have failed and many organizations such as the PLP have degenerated and others such as the OL and RCP are heading in a dangerous direction.


Revisionism has profound class and historical ideological sources. PRRWO understands neither source, particularly the ideological source. Revisionism, like all opportunism, does not generally develop suddenly. It only appears suddenly on this or that question, under this or that abrupt change of events. But the basis of it has long been maturing. As Chairman Mao said, contradictions exist in all things, even before they become apparent. There is a process of maturation and development. Lenin, in “The Collapse of the Second International,” has this to teach us:

The serious scientific and political question, which Kautsky has deliberately evaded by means of subterfuges of all kinds... is this: how was it possible for the most prominent representative of the Second International to betray socialism?

He posed the following question:

Where did social chauvinism spring from? What gave it strength? How must it be combated?

Answering some of these questions, he said:

In Europe it is perfectly obvious that social-chauvinism’s basic ideological and political content fully coincides with the foundations of opportunism. It is one and the same tendency. ... Opportunism... was engendered in the course of decades by the special features in the period of the development of capitalism, when the comparatively peaceful and cultured life of a stratum of privileged workingmen “bourgeoisified” them, gave them crumbs from the table of their national capitalists, and isolated them from the suffering, misery and revolutionary temper of the privileged position as a petty bourgeois “upper stratum” or aristocracy (and bureaucracy) of the working class – such is the natural wartime continuation of petty bourgeois opportunist hopes and the corresponding tactics, such is the economic foundation of present-day social-imperialism. And, of course, the force of habit, the routine of relatively “peaceful” evolution, national prejudices, a fear of sharp turns and a disbelief in them – all these were additional circumstances which enhanced both opportunism and a hypocritical and a craven reconciliation with opportunism, which had been fostered for decades, raised it to a higher stage [emphasis added], increased the number and the variety of its shades, augmented the ranks of its adherents, enriched their arguments with a multitude of new sophisms, and has merged, so to say, many new streams and rivulets with the mainstream of opportunism. (“The Collapse of the Second International,” LCW, Vol. 21.)

Lenin laid out clearly the class and ideological bases of the opportunism of the Second International which took the form of social-chauvinism and social-imperialism. The labor aristocracy has nurtured their opportunism for decades, in fact, through the entire period of relatively “peaceful” development of capitalism in Europe. But under different situations, this opportunism jumps out all of a sudden on one or two issues. This is due to the ideological basis, the “force of habit, routine of relatively ’peaceful’ evolution, rational prejudices, a fear of sharp turns and a disbelief in them.” The “sharp turns” from relative peace to World War I provided the condition for the Second International Social-Democrats to turn into their opposite and become outright opportunists.

Although Lenin was referring to all the parties of the Second International when he said, “opportunism has been nurtured by legalism,” this was especially acute in Germany. It tremendously affected their reaction to legal work after the Anti-Socialist Law was abolished.

Here you have the living dialectic of opportunism: the mere growth of legal unions and the mere habit that stupid but conscientious philistines have of confining themselves to bookkeeping, have created a situation in which, during a crisis, these conscientious philistines have proved to be traitors and betrayors, who would smother the revolutionary energy of the masses. (Ibid.)

Therefore, during a moment of crisis:

With the outbreak of the war it [opportunism] grew to manhood and its “innocence” and youth cannot be restored. (Ibid.)

Thus the revisionism of the Second International had fully matured over the dead bodies of the proletariat who were forced to fight the war.

The very same social and political content of modern international opportunism reveals itself in a variety of ways according to its national peculiarities. In one country the opportunists long ago came out under a separate flag, in another they ignored theory and in practice pursued the policy of the Radical-Socialists; in a third country, several members of the revolutionary party have deserted to the camp of opportunism and strive to achieve their aims not by an open struggle for principles and for new tactics, but by gradual, imperceptible and, if one may so express it, unpunishable corruption of their party...

[That’s why] to talk about freedom of criticism and Bernsteinism ... and not to explain how Russian Bernsteinism has manifested itself, and what particular fruits it has borne,’ is tantamount to talking for the purpose of saying nothing. (WITBD, Peking ed., pp. 16-17.)

Comrades have to excuse us for the long quotes. But this is essential to illustrate the process of development of revisionism. PRRWO ignores and evades this very question of process and does not “investigate, study, seek, divine, grasp that which is peculiarly national, specifically national in the concrete manner”’. Comrades should think over the essence of this “left” opportunism: why on this fundamental question, PRRWO is the OL-inside-out, that they are identical both in content and in form!


In practice, this line of not understanding the difference between matured, full-grown revisionism, such as the “C”PUSA and “C”PSU, and revisionist trends and tendencies within our own movement and organizations, is shown in their “line of demarcation” which draws RCP out of the communist movement, but lets OL stay in. Perhaps that’s because OL has a “non-sectarian style of work”?! Or because it has not revised Marxism literally?! Or perhaps merely because of PRRWO’s whim?! This total lack of principle due to a lack of criteria for determining the objective historical and social basis for opportunism, (i.e., what is an opportunist trend and what gives it strength and potentiality to develop and grow), has led PRRWO to draw a “line of demarcation” arbitrarily.

This is bastardization of Marxism, leading to the instability of principle. What do Communists call this methodology except circle wriggling and circle squabbling? What do Marxist-Leninists call this except political opportunism and careerism? From the ideological and political line flows their organizational line which we will deal with later.


The opportunist PRRWO can rave and demagogue WVO for pointing to the class and ideological basis for revisionism within the Communist movement. And they can laugh and joke that “ideology is too abstract” and point their finger at the “C”PSU and the “C”PUSA and keep quoting our Albanian and Chinese comrades’ statements against them. But what PRRWO is doing is exactly what all the revisionists have done historically – negate the hard lessons of the international proletariat learned in blood. Despite all their raving and laughing, these opportunists dare not raise the historical experience of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) presented in their sum-up and self-criticism.

In this important document, the comrades of the PKI show how, despite their official opposition to the revisionist “C”PSU and in spite of their official rupture with what PRRWO would call

conscious bourgeois ideology in the communist and workers movements – the theory of peaceful transition to socialism, peaceful coexistence, the productive forces theory, the theory of the inevitable peaceful collapse of capitalism,” over two million lives of communist workers, and peasants still were lost. This historical lesson has shown that it is not sufficient to be consciously against the cruder political aspects of revisionism, as the Australian comrades warned.

PRRWO, going against the lessons of the international proletariat, tried to revive and peddle this dangerous line. These craven opportunists in a “left” facade dare not raise high the red banner of the self-criticism of the PKI who summed up precisely this very lesson drenched in oceans of blood!